The worst thing a public relations executive can imagine is a social media flop. Social media can be very dangerous when not used properly. With that being said, Clay McDaniel, principal and co-founder of Spring Creek Group, gives us some tips on how to avoid a social media disaster:
1. Create a social media policy/community management plan – Your main goal is for your customers to voice their opinions about your brand. You cannot control what upset customers say. It is important to discuss what will not be tolerated on your social media site. Hiring someone whose job would consist of monitoring every social media website you have is a good way to keep your sites monitored.
2. Have an escalation plan – You should be prepared when the negative comments arise. Deciding which comments require immediate response will help you act fast. You should keep the public relations department informed and flag comments you feel should be watched.
3. Plan for the worst – Expect the best-Hopefully you will never have to face any issues on your social media websites, but you should always act like you will. Being prepared will help avoid conflict.
4. Respond quickly, personally and directly – Being honest and personable with the customer will make them feel like they are a valued.
5. Don’t play the blame game – Stand up for your mistakes.
McDaniel’s last tip is to learn from great examples. We can all think of good and bad examples. When Ford was going through its crisis last year its social media leader Scotty Murphy took to Twitter as a means of communication with his followers. A bad example was when Nestle fought back against people altering the logo in connection with its use of products that were killing the rainforest. Instead of taking the blame or offering incentives to the upset customers, Nestle chose to argue back and forth and threatened to delete anyone using the altered logo. All public relations pros should learn from Nestle. Never insult your customers. Read more about Nestle’s nightmare here.
Public relations connection with social media is very deep. It is something that everyone working in the industry should become familiar with. The tips that McDaniel gave are helpful and should be considered by anyone looking to promote their brand on a social media site. Check out McDaniel’s full article here.